Tracing The Path Of Shalom With #WholeMama

Shalom is a challenge to define. I think the reason is because we all have, (and need,) our own definitions. I don’t know exactly how to tell you what shalom is for me. It’s like poetry: it’s having my own language where I engage with Spirit, and place symbols to the beautiful chaos I call life. It’s giving name to that thing which I call “home” and which calls me to move toward home.

Shalom is a surprise. She comes from the most unexpected places, spaces, activities. I swept the floor today, which is a task that always feels incredibly tedious. Today, it felt like repair. The movement, or the cleanliness, or the relief, I don’t know which, but I felt restored. Shalom sneaks up through the mundane and springs into joy where least expected.

When Shalom is visualized, she might seem like something soft, still, passive. A quiet stream. A green pasture. A halo hovering over the image of a saint. In reality, she’s also like a puppy or a child, delighted to jump out of somewhere unexpected, full of hilarity and eager for affection.

Shalom is a surprise!

Shalom is a surprise!

The effects of Shalom can be seen in so many ways:

That flip-flop of the heart when someone speaks and I realize “Oh, you’re talking to me? I’m not invisible? You SEE me!”

That squeal of shock and amusement when the joke sinks in, or when my daughter delights in bringing me a messy breakfast-in-bed treat, or when someone sits down to have tea with me.

Walking through the Farmer’s Market and having some pink mini-carnations call out to me, “we belong together!” (I obey the call, knowing they will bring a centering atmosphere to the home.)

A shared laugh with my husband. An impromptu ice cream trip with my children. The kettle singing. The quiet morning awakened by birdsong. The loud and jubilant conversation of a neighbor’s family cookout. Staying up later than usual to finish a book.

There are not enough descriptions to embody each aspect of Shalom, but it’s all those experiences that mysteriously bind up the fragments of my heart, and leave an imprint of hope and a promise of wholeness, as she moves along her mission, fluid through the air, to bless another body and heal another spirit.

Shalom is a gift and an invitation.

Shalom is a gift and an invitation.

Shalom is both a gift and an invitation. Shalom is the wake of Spirit movement. I can trace her path and follow her trail. She beckons me to be a part of the rhythm of her work. Shalom is the freedom to say “yes” or “no” to the Spirit, but usually “yes” because I love to participate.

Easy to recognize, but hard to name? Still, it’s worth the attempt to name. It’s worth the daily treasure hunt to find the wholeness it offers. It’s fully worthy of gratitude for each moment the gift is received, and each moment the invitation is accepted.

How does the word Shalom speak to you? How does it lead you into wholeness? Link up with us, or let us know on Twitter or Instagram with the #WholeMama hashtag! For more options, read Esther Emery's post, and choose your own adventure!

Jamie Bagley